Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Search for Michigan Man Missing in Hawaii Called Off

The search for 67-year-old Brian Murphy of Plymouth, Michigan has been called off. Park rangers, the Coast Guard, and a canine team have not found any sign of Murphy. Temperatures have ranged from 20 to 40 degrees throughout the search effort.

Rescuers have been searching the Mauna Kea area, Hawaii, since the evening of December 5 when he did not return from a hike. Murphy set out alone on the Humu'ula Trail. He signed in at the Mauna Kea Visitor Station, and told a ranger that he was going to hike a mile up the trail.

The path climbs 3,800 feet higher than the visitor center to Lake Waiau at 13,020 feet. Two hours later a cold front came through producing a storm which dropped a foot of snow on the mountain, and spawned 70 mph winds.

Murphy is a father of two, and grandfather of five. In an interview with his daughter she reported that he is in good physical condition, being an active skier and a holder of numerous national records for the decathlon. She added that he's very knowledgable about safety and survival skills.

"I see him as a person who would not panic in this a situation, even if he were hurt, he overcomes pain extremely well," she added.

There is some hope that he will survive since he knows how to make a shelter of ice.

see KGMB9-TV, "Missing Hiker is Avid Outdoorsman", by Tina Chau, Dec 10, 2007
see The Honolulu Advertiser, "Michigan visitor missing after hiking Big Isle trail", Dec 10, 2007
see The Honolulu Advertiser, "Search ends with no sign of missing Big Island hiker", Dec 12, 2007
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